Monday, November 17, 2008

Go HDTV-Free (or at least, lessen the impact)

Well you might have TV envy when you visit friends who have upgraded to HDTV's. Personally I don't see much of a difference with the picture, and I feel a bit like I'm caught in the story of "The Emperor's New Clothes" when I hear people raving over the picture quality. My eyesight's not perfect, so maybe that's it. Or maybe it's that I'm happy with "good enough," and I remember too well the black and white TV we had when I was little. At any rate, in case HDTV envy gets the best of you, read this month's issue of Greentips, from The Union of Concerned Scientists.

The article sums up the recommendations with:
Choose the most efficient technology (which at this time is DLP, or digital light processing, not LCD or plasma).
Choose Energy Star-rated models (which can save 30% energy, or more).
Even if you’re not in the market for a new TV, reduce the energy being consumed by your current TV:

Unplug the TV when it is not in use. TVs that have a standby mode continue to draw power even when turned “off.” 
Turn off the “quick start” option (if applicable). Just by waiting a few more seconds for the TV to warm up, you can significantly reduce standby power consumption. 
Turn down the brightness settings. Many LCD TVs also have a backlight setting that is often set in stores to be brighter than necessary for most home environments. 
Buy an Energy Star-rated digital-to-analog (DTA) converter box if you own an analog TV and do not plan to upgrade to digital by February 2009. According to the EPA, if all analog TV owners used Energy Star converter boxes, global warming pollution would be lowered by an amount equivalent to taking a million cars off the road.

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